A forum for Kent CCC fans
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By gmdf
A glorious day weather wise at Canterbury yesterday, and a pretty even first day's play. Gloucestershire chose to bowl first, and will have been pleased to get Kent all out for 298 given that we were 134-2 at one point after lunch. The one wicket they lost before the close was important for Kent, who will need to make best use of the new ball this morning as there are runs in the wicket.

The fact that all 11 Kent players reached double figures but none went on the make more than 62 is interesting - but most contributed to their own downfall (and Gloucestershire's catching was pretty good). Weatherley (34) & Harris (33*) batted well on their Kent debuts, Denly (62) and Stevens (50) both made good half-centuries, but their failure to convert them in to big innings may come back to haunt Kent later. Norwell (3 wickets) and spinner Van Buren (2) were probably the pick of the bowlers.
A very enjoyable day in the sun,  I was very glad I ignored the weather forecast & made the effort to journey.  Other duties rule out today & Monday & I cannot face the rail/bus trip tomorrow.  Started the season with a personal best, earliest ice cream at cricket & very nice it was too.
Another very sunny day at Canterbury, and a very good one for Kent. Starting at 9-1, Gloucs soon lost the nightwatchman Norwell (a first Kent wicket for the threatening James Harris), but a partnership of 71 between the incredibly lucky Dent and the strokeless Tavaré occupied some 27 overs and helped dig their side out of trouble. Darren Stevens was especially difficult to get away, and he and Harris must have passed the outside edge 20 times. Just when it looked as if they would go to lunch only 2 down, Gidman was brought on and he bowled Tavaré in what turned out to be his only over (1-1-0-1!).

In the afternoon session Mitch Claydon ruined the Gloucs innings with a burst of 4 wickets (having been hit for a 4 & a 6 by Van Buuren in his first over, and including the adhesive Dent for a battling 67); he finished with 4 -35 and led the players in for an early tea at the end of the innings. Stevens (2-42) & Harris (3-42) were the other key bowlers. 

In Kent's second innings Daniel B-D fell to a super catch by Hankins at 3rd slip, but Weatherley & Denly played well for the second time in the match. Both were still in when I had to leave an hour early, but I see that despite both (& Sam N) getting out before the close, Kent are very well placed at 118-4, a lead of 267 with 6 wickets and 2 full days to go. Denly, with 62 & 59 and Claydon have been the stand out performers, but Weatherley (36 & 34 on debut) did well as the replacement for the injured Sean Dickson.

Fingers crossed for a victory tomorrow or, more likely, sometime on Monday!
That's a satisfying win - not sure I can remember too many seasons recently where we've opened with a win. Must be tempered by the quality of the opposition though. Gloucs look bad. Just from this first round of matches you sense that Glam, Gloucs and Leics are going to be this year's bottom feeders. Notts obviously enormously strong, leaving a string of teams, including us, battling for 2nd. In that sense, securing the win today was very important, even at this early stage of the season.

While I like the balance of the team I fear getting too reliant on Harris, who could up and leave any time. The top order batting also looked a bit rusty, and Sussex for sure will provide a sterner test with the ball. Their batting can be got at though, I reckon.
Today was really 'a day of two halves'- in the morning Kent struggled from 118-4 to 194-7, owing a lot to a stubborn 60 run partnership  from Gidman & Tredwell after the excellent Norwell took 3 wickets in 5 balls. It was slow going, but compelling play as the Kent all-rounders weathered a storm from the potent Gloucestershire attack.

Then after lunch, Taylor bowled Gidman with the first ball (his first of the innings as well) and trapped Coles LBW second ball. Kent were now 194-9, which was transformed into 246 all out after a hectic last minute stand of 52 in 6.1 overs when both Tredwell and Claydon swung the bat to great effect until the no. 11 holed out of Liddle. Norwell (5-59, and 8 wickets in the match) was the pick of the bowlers and led his team off the field.

So Gloucs were set 396 to win in a day & a half. There seemed little wrong with the pitch, overhead conditions were sunny and the outfield reasonably quick. Sure;y this might be a close result? A short 13.1 overs later Gloucs were 37-9 and only some effective hitting from Norwell (who scored all 24 runs in the 10th wicket partnership) avoided total humiliation. Stevens (6-22) and Harris (3-26) were the destroyers, with all the batsmen playing poor shots or showing awful judgment (not playing a shot to balls that will hit the stumps isn't a good strategy). Well though Kent bowled in both innings, I imagine questions will be asked about the Gloucestershire batting on their return home nearly a day and a half early.

A great start to the season, but Sussex next weekend will be a much stronger prospect.
Wow, looks like I picked the wrong day of the weekend to attend. Its been many years since I had been to Canterbury (I normally stick to Beckenham and Tunbridge Wells). How come the new tree is outside of the boundary?
Wow, looks like I picked the wrong day of the weekend to attend. Its been many years since I had been to Canterbury (I normally stick to Beckenham and Tunbridge Wells). How come the new tree is outside of the boundary?

When the old tree fell, the new one was moved just into the field of play, but over the last few years it has only rarely (2 or 3 times a year?) been within the field of play.

As that side of the ground has been sold to McCarthy Stone the 'centre' of the ground has moved about 2 wickets away from that side, and the boundary moved with it so the tree won't ever be in the field of play now, I suspect.  :(
great to start the season with a win, specially with the hiccups we have had pre-season (poor WI tour, coach visa probs, fast bowler probs, overseas signing probs).

One thing that has come over from listening to Matt Walker discussing the WI tour is that we didn't expect to do well because our players hadn't played for some 4 months and the pitches were totally different to what they are used to - but it was excellent practice and much better to be playing outside than indoors at that time of the year. Got the impression that he'd love to repeat the experience next year.
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